Legends from around the world tell of blue-eyed gods. For example, the god of the Incas was called Viracocha, the Mayas had their Kukulkan and for the Aztecs it was Quetzalcoatl. These gods were all described as having blue eyes. Likewise, the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians thought that blue eyes were a sign of the gods (and royalty), as many of their statues show. Even statues of Buddha show him with blue eyes, as traditionally Buddha was regarded as having the Thirty-two Characteristics of a Great Man (one of which characteristics was blue eyes). It makes one wonder if God could have possibly had blue eyes.
Science says that in the beginning man had dark eyes. Life began in Africa, right? However, a funny thing happened on man’s sojourn out of Africa. A recent genetic study at the University of Copenhagen says that 6,000 to 10,000 years ago a person was suddenly born with blue eyes, for the very first time. Before that, we supposedly all had brown eyes.
Today, the catch phrase in science is that blue eyes were caused by a mutation, which of course means that scientists don’t really know how it first occurred. Supposedly, one person was born with a mutation in the gene that controls eye color which resulted in blue eyes. This was followed by identical second and third mutations, and so on until finally the mutated gene became so prevalent that blue eyes occurred naturally in child births. I said, supposedly.
Certainly, there were changes in the DNA but the real question is where did these changes actually come from? That is, either DNA has the innate ability to change on its own or it can be altered by outside forces, or perhaps even both. However, science seems unsure which it is. All they say is that blue eyes were caused by a mutation. The scientists at the University of Copenhagen who did the genetic research say that this particular mutation was “neutral” in terms of whether it improved the chances of the species survival. Neutral is, I believe, a first for science. That’s because either scientists believe in natural selection (a positive change) or conversely believe that mutations have always been shown to be the result of defects in genes (a negative change). In any case, if a mutation was not due to a defect, it would certainly imply some sort of intelligent design of DNA which allows the DNA to adapt on its own to its environment.
According to the University of Copenhagen study, blue-eyed people migrated from the Black Sea area to various parts of the world – east to China, south and east to India, west to North Africa and Europe (and eventually North America) and south to Egypt and the rest of the Middle East. Linguistics has also traced these very same people through the progression of languages of what’s referred to as the Indo-European family of languages. In essence, it’s one family and one bloodline and it now stretches virtually around the world. By some estimates, there are 300 million people today with blue eyes. Despite historical migration, the highest percentage of people with blue eyes in any one country still live fairly close to the epicenter (the Black Sea). For example, in Estonia, a vast majority of people still have blue eyes.
However, what very few people are talking about is that fair skin and blond hair also mutated in the same timeframe as the mutation associated with blue eyes. A case-in-point is the recent scientific study by an international team of researchers headed by Harvard University which says that Caucasians first arose some 8,000 years ago. In addition, the scientific consensus is that Caucasians also came from the Black Sea area. So, both blue eyes and fair skin arose in the very same timeframe and in the same geographic area, the Black Sea.
What this really amounts to is a “poof” moment. Some people just suddenly (poof) got blue eyes instead of brown, blond hair instead of dark hair and fair skin instead of dark skin. One could even go so far as to say that the very first blue-eyed person also had fair skin and blond hair. Those three physical traits are genetically linked in ways that science does not yet fully understand. After all, almost all people who are blond with blue eyes have fair skin.
After leaving Africa, other unexplainable changes took place in man, especially in Europe. About 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals were replaced in Europe by Cro-Magnon man. Some mutation; we literally got a whole new species, with Cro-Magnon being considerably larger than Neanderthal and also larger than Sub-Saharan Africans, as well. The geographic origins of Cro-Magnon man are still unknown. However, the bigger question is how did they evolve, since they were a mutation that was so great and so sudden that they don’t fit in the context of evolutionary theory. Then, Cro-Magnon man disappeared some 12,000 years ago and was replaced by modern man who is smaller than Cro-Magnon (including having a smaller brain size). Somewhere along the way, modern man wound up with three different skull types, only one of which is obviously of African origin. Confusing, right? Try fitting evolutionary theory into that scenario.
Then there is the curious case of Rh negative blood. It’s a real can of worms. Science is stumped as to how man originally came out of Africa with Rh positive blood and then developed Rh negative blood, especially since Rh positive blood is incompatible with Rh negative blood. The mystery only deepens when you realize that almost no Africans or Asians have Rh negative blood. It’s basically a European (Caucasian) thing.
In the final analysis, we have fallen back on the concept of mutation because we don’t have a plausible explanation for how man evolved. Like I said earlier, either DNA can evolve on its own (with all the implications of intelligent design that this would entail) or there were outside influences which would explain the sudden and significant evolutionary changes in man.
The elephant in the room is that blue eyes, blond hair and fair skin may be linked to one ancient gene pool that carried all three of those genetic traits. That is, we all didn’t evolve from just one gene pool. Religiously speaking, we didn’t exclusively evolve genetically from Adam and Eve. For example, in the Bible there were the Sons of God who mated with the daughters of ancient man. You may not buy into that story, however, a new DNA study from the Harvard Medical School in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, found that ancient man had sex with a still unknown species.
No doubt, this relates to the results of a genetic study of Ashkenazi Jews which traced the Ashkenazi origins back to just four women carrying distinctive mtDNAs that showed that they were not related to each other and that their genetic origins are unknown. The same could be said for man in general. His true origins are simply unknown. God may have had blue eyes, after all.
Interestingly enough, this might lead to what some would consider to be a politically incorrect worldview. That is, the difference in races is caused by man’s evolution from more than one gene pool. In other words, not all of our genes came “out of Africa.” Now, you may be wondering why you haven’t heard about this before. Like I said, it’s politically incorrect – a dirty little secret that has been intentionally suppressed from the history books…but, of course, now you know.
“The falsification of history has done more to mislead humans than any single thing known to mankind.”
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Here’s the three things that you need to know about the Bible, at least from one person’s perspective:
What’s the most important part of the Bible?
That’s easy. It’s Genesis. Why? Because, above all, man needs to understand his place in the universe. That is, why do I exist?
What’s the most interesting part of the Bible?
It’s Genesis, again. Why? Because we get to eavesdrop on God during the creation process.
What is the importance of the Bible to religion?
This one is trickier. It’s moral authority. That is, man needs to be able to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong and arguably this can only come from God.
With respect to Christianity, Genesis is central to their faith. So, there are three things that one ought to know about Genesis, as follows:
The God of Genesis is the God of the Hebrews
The God of Genesis is Yahweh who is the Hebrew God. In fact, Christianity does not have a God that is unique to its own religion.
Genesis is not an original Christian story
That is, like Yahweh, Genesis was borrowed from Judaism.
The author of Genesis is unknown
Genesis was written by Jewish scribes shortly after the Babylonian exile (6th century BC), however, the exact author(s) is unknown. Contrary to popular belief, though, it was not written by Moses.
All of which leads to three things that one ought to know about Christianity.
Who were the very first Christians?
Obviously, the disciples, themselves, were the very first Christians (i.e. followers of Christ).
What did the disciples believe in?
The disciples’ beliefs were based on their first-hand experiences from being around Jesus. What Jesus taught them, they taught others. The disciples were Jewish and they lived their lives strictly in accordance with the Jewish Written Law, the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). The scriptures that they studied were from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament); as for the New Testament scriptures, they had not yet been written as of that time.
Who decided the official church doctrine?
There was a lot of diversity in early Christian thinking. After much debate, the core tenets of Christianity were officially decided by a series of church councils beginning with the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, which was convened under the auspices of the Roman Emperor, Constantine I.
All of which takes us back to the literal beginning…to Genesis. That is, what makes Genesis so important to Christianity? Does it answer the age-old questions of how and why were we created?
How were we created?
Well, for starters, Genesis has an explanation of how life was created. The Bible’s concept of God creating the heavens and earth is sometimes referred to as Creation Out of Nothing. Interestingly enough, that concept is actually supported somewhat by science whose own Big Bang Theory is also, essentially, creation out of nothing.
Why were we created?
Almost everyone I know has, at one time or another, wanted to know the reason for their existence. That is, what is the meaning of life? Genesis has a reason, but it isn’t exactly what you might think or have been taught to believe. Genesis actually says that man was created to care for the Garden of Eden. As for the woman, she apparently was an afterthought as she was created later (to be a companion for man).
In search of God
Man has been forever in search of his origins, in search of his creator; in other words, in search of God. God, of course, is the main character of the Genesis story. However, there are some age-old questions that Genesis doesn’t answer about him. For example, although much has been said about God, we still don’t know what God looks like. How could that information have possibly been left out of the Genesis story…unless the author didn’t know.
Further, did Adam really have a fireside chat with God and did Eve really have a conversation with a talking snake? The answer to those questions is that Genesis should not be read literally (rather it’s allegorical in nature). Luminaries such as Paul, St Augustine, Philo of Alexandria and Origen all agreed that certain parts of Genesis should not be read literally. Accordingly, down through the years, there have been a myriad of interpretations concerning the Creation. Even people who still read Genesis literally have different interpretations from each other.
As a result, everyone has an opinion and they say that they’re the only one that knows the truth. Perhaps, in the final analysis, that’s the only thing that you really need to know about the Bible.
The Hebrew scribes that penned Genesis no doubt relied on older sources for their story. Among other reasons, I can say that with full confidence because Genesis was written some 3,000 years after-the-fact. Yes, 3,000 years if you can even imagine that. Besides, as the Talmud says, some Genesis passages were taken from tradition (in other words older belief systems) or older writings. So, Genesis, while it may be an interesting read, is not even an original rendering of the creation story.
“For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.”
– Origen, Christian theologian
“You shall have no other gods besides me.” (Exodus 20:3)
So, who was God referring to when he supposedly uttered those now-famous words? What other gods could there have been? Take your pick, as there were actually many different gods in the Bible!
In Genesis, God creates heaven and earth, and man of course. The thing to remember about the Genesis story is that it took place a couple of thousand years before Moses. There is a linkage there that’s often missed, though. That is, Moses lived at the time of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten who is considered by most historians to be the father of monotheism. If true, this would mean that all religious beliefs prior to Akhenaten, including that of the Israelites, were polytheistic. That should really be no big surprise as most biblical scholars believe that was the case anyway.
Therefore, the context of the Genesis story had to have been one of a belief in many gods. How could it have been otherwise? The Bible, itself, actually confirms it (e.g. it says that Abraham’s family worshipped other gods). Yet, the Genesis story has been widely interpreted as the story about the one and only god. Do you see the incongruity there? So, how should the Genesis story be correctly viewed given that the ancient Israelites were polytheistic? Let’s try to break it down.
The gods of the Bible
The god of Genesis 1 was referred to as the Elohim in the Hebrew texts. Wikipedia says this about the term Elohim, “Hebrew grammar allows for this nominally plural form to mean ‘He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)’, or roughly, ‘God of gods.’” Along those lines, certain verses in the Bible are actually translated as “God of gods” (for example, see Joshua 22:22, Psalm 136:2 and Deuteronomy 10:17).
Things really get interesting in Psalm 82:1,6. There we find that, “God (Yahweh) standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods…I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” Here the plural form of Elohim is on full display. The twist in this verse is the use of the term “most High”, referring to the god most High. The relationship between Yahweh and the god most High can be plainly seen in Deuteronomy 32:8-9, as follows:
“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s (Yahweh) portion is his people; Jacob (Israel) is the lot of his inheritance.”
So, the writers of the Old Testament believed that the Elohim were the creator gods and that Yahweh was the ranking member of the Elohim. However, above them all was someone they referred to as the god most High. So when Yahweh proclaimed that “you shall have no other gods besides me”, it makes sense who he might have been referring to.
Gods or humans?
Something that is often overlooked about the gods of the Old Testament is how much they looked and acted like humans. One could chalk that up to fanciful writing on the part of the Old Testament writers or there could be a simpler explanation. The stories could just as well have been based upon actual contact with a life form that they didn’t understand, a life form that told man that they were gods. The Old Testament is actually replete with such stories.
In Numbers 23:19, it says that, “God is not a man, that he should lie….” The clear inference is that God does not lie, only man does. However, the god of Genesis lied about dying if you ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge (see Genesis 2:17). The only logical conclusion that one can draw from this is that the god of Genesis was not God. If he wasn’t God, then, exactly who was he?
Well, there’s actually a few clues in the Bible that indicate who the gods of Genesis might have been. For starters, Genesis 1:26 says that man was created in the image and likeness of the Elohim. In evolutionary biology, the only way for life to be created is from a similar life form, more specifically one with the same DNA (e.g. every human being on this planet came from another human being and every elephant on this planet came from another elephant). Further, in Genesis 3:22, Yahweh says that man has become “like one of us” (like the Elohim). So, man’s creator gods must have been very similar to a human DNA-wise. That is, modern man’s creator gods must have been physical life forms.
The origins of man
Arguably, the greatest scientific discovery of all-time was the discovery of DNA. In 1962, molecular biologist Francis Crick and James Watson were awarded the Nobel Prize for developing a model for the helical structure of DNA, which was the jumping off point for the ground-breaking work that would follow in the field of genetics. Because of his own continued work in the field of genetics, Crick would come to believe that life on Earth may have been seeded deliberately by other civilizations. That theory is generally referred to as Directed Panspermia.
So, according to Crick, an advanced extraterrestrial civilization may have been responsible for the creation of modern man (Homo sapiens). They wouldn’t have created the universe and all life in it, but they could have been responsible for a DNA upgrade of an existing life form on this planet, an upgrade utilizing their own DNA. If so, they may have been referred to by ancient man as the Elohim (or God, to some).
Understanding the Bible
What’s missing in all of the discussion about the Bible and its creation story is this. There was more than one god. Without that understanding, there is no way to fully comprehend the bible stories.
That is, in the beginning there was the Prime Creator god who presumably said, “Let there be light.” He created the universe and was responsible for the Big Bang, whose cause was obviously beyond space and time. As life evolved, other life forms came into existence. So, eons after the initial creation, highly evolved life forms came to this planet and created modern man (from life forms that already existed here). They were not gods, but rather an advanced extraterrestrial civilization, just as Crick surmised. That’s why they looked and acted like humans (unlike the God of the New Testament who is considered to be an invisible spirit). Because they were a very advanced species, they had technology that made ancient man believe that they were dealing with gods. After all, they created modern man, didn’t they?
In the final analysis, it’s important to remember that the Bible never says that man was created in the image and likeness of God. What it actually says is that man was created in the image and likeness of the Elohim. Ancient man called the Elohim “God”… but they weren’t. This understanding is the secret that religion has not passed on to the masses…but, of course, now you know.
It was more than three thousand years after Adam and Eve before the Israelites wrote the Old Testament and adopted Judaism. Yahweh finally got his wish. He received a promotion to the “one and only god”. From that point on, the Old Testament would be considered to be a story about the one true god. There would be no other gods before us.
“Beyond all finite experiences and secondary causes, all laws, ideas and principles, there is an Intelligence or Mind, the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all other ideas are grounded.”
It never ceases to amaze me how people can read the Bible and come up with a different explanation from what the printed words say in plain language. I guess that’s what George Bernard Shaw meant when he said that, “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says – he is always convinced that it says what he means.” Here’s a case in point.
The question has to do with God telling Adam that he would die if he ate from the Tree of Knowledge. If you recall, here’s how the conversation went:
- In Genesis 2:17, God tells Adam: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
- In Genesis 3:17, God doles out his punishment for disobeying him with regard to eating of the Tree of Knowledge: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”
The plain words of these passages tell a pretty simple story. God told man not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge (and Adam disobeyed him). The punishment was to live “a life of sorrow.” However, Adam did not die as God had warned him but rather lived to be 930 years old.
Actually, the serpent knew the truth all along and told Eve as much. Here’s the pertinent Bible verses:
- In Genesis 3:3, Eve tells the serpent, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
- In Genesis 3:4-5, the serpent responds to Eve as follows: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
What follows in Genesis 3:6-7 is also telling: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened….”
So, it was just like the serpent said. One doesn’t drop dead if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Further, what the serpent said would happen did, in fact, happen. That is, if you eat from the Tree of Knowledge “then your eyes shall be opened”…and they were indeed opened as the Bible states. The serpent also told the truth about what happens when your eyes are opened. He says in Genesis 3:4-5 that you will become gods, knowing good and evil. In Genesis 3:22, God actually confirms the truth about what the serpent said when he says, …“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil….”
The fruit (apple) of the Tree of Knowledge is a universal symbol of temptation and the giving in to that temptation resulting in Paradise Lost, as Milton would have it. However, the use of the apple as this kind of symbol predates the writing of Genesis. For example, Greek mythology used the symbol of a serpent-like dragon that was coiled around a tree in the garden of the Hesperides protecting the divine golden apples. In fact, both Shakespeare and Milton later included the divine Garden of Hesperides in their works.
Today, most people would say that the world is not a safe place. Certainly, God, if he were here, would not look out over his creation and say that it is good. So, even religious people have to question how an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God created such an imperfect world. That’s why the Church came up with their theology of Creation Out of Nothing to explain how God was not the cause of evil. However, if God didn’t create evil, pray tell who did? Further, if Eve could be tempted by an evil being, then the temptation had to be the end-result of something that God both created (i.e. the serpent) and expected. After all, God was omnipotent and omniscient, wasn’t he?
As simple a story as Genesis is, some people still feel the need to reinterpret it. Thank you, George Bernard Shaw. After all, every story has to have a good guy and every story has to have a bad guy. Therefore, in the orthodox church, the snake has been forever known as the villain of this story. Yet, it was God that lied while the serpent told the truth. Of course, this wasn’t the first time that God deceived man. In the very beginning (Genesis 1), God originally gave the Tree of Knowledge to man, as the Bible says, to have dominion over. Who would have ever believed that Paradise could have been lost over a Tree that had been originally promised by God to man?
…”If you get mad at your Mac laptop and wonder who designed this demonic device, notice the manufacturer’s icon on top: an apple with a bite out of it.”
– Peter Kreeft
Recently, I was reading a blog that stated that at the time of the Creation God saw that it (his creation) was good. So, I posted a comment saying that, “Eventually, however, he would repent and come to see that man was evil, that man wasn’t good after all (and brought a great flood to destroy his creation). Not very omniscient I would say.”
The rest of the thread went like this:
Blogger: Prior to the fall, man was good. The flood is multiple thousands of years after the first few chapters of Genesis.
My comment: The point was, though, that a supposedly omniscient God didn’t know that man would become evil. In fact, he should have known even before he created him.
Blogger: Where on earth are you getting this insane idea that He didn’t know what was going to happen?
My comment: God saw that it was good, just as Genesis says. What, he didn’t know that it (man) would become evil? Of course, he knew since he is omniscient. So, there are a number of possibilities (your choice): (1) God lied when he said that it was good; (2) God had a plan from before the time of creation to produce a being that would become evil; (3) God is not omniscient or (4) the God of the Bible is not truly God. Which one do you choose?
Blogger: God created a being with the freedom to choose. That freedom held within it the possibility to choose evil. That does NOT mean God created evil….
The problem of evil
So, if God didn’t create evil, who did? Let’s break it down.
According to the Bible, God created everything. Yes, everything, even the serpent. By definition, then, he must have created evil. Therefore, if you believe in Satan, the Devil or Lucifer, God also intentionally created them as well (by definition). Reflect a moment and consider why he would have done that.
If God was indeed omniscient, he would have known how his creation would turn out. As the Bible says, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7). Biblically speaking, then, an omniscient God knowingly created evil.
The god of Genesis
There’s one catch, though. God didn’t really know how man would turn out (see Genesis 6:5-7). When he saw man’s wickedness, he regretted having created man in the first place and, therefore, decided to destroy his creation. It’s what I call a Frankenstein moment. God, only then, realized what a monster he had created. These verses clearly demonstrate that God was not really omniscient, or that Yahweh was not really God. Your choice.
Then there are what I call the “say what?” moments in the Bible:
- God created the serpent (Genesis 3:1) and saw that it was good. Remind me again how something that was supposedly evil was good. I guess that God thought it was good, though.
- God gave man the Tree of Knowledge (Genesis 1:29) and later changed his mind (Genesis 2:17). Changed his mind? How is it even remotely possible that an omniscient God could, or would, change his mind. However, he didn’t just do it once. He did it at least three times that we know of. He also changed his mind with regards to the Tree of Life, placing it off-limits after the fact (Genesis 3:22-24). Then, there’s God change of heart in deciding to destroy his creation.
Finally, God lied about dying if one ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Of course, he then punished the serpent for telling the truth. So, tell me, exactly who is the good guy and who is the bad guy?
What have we learned, then, about what the Bible says about the god of the Old Testament? Let’s recap:
- God is somewhat bi-polar. One moment he loves us and the next he’s bringing a flood to get rid of us.
- God likes to change his mind. We’re good, we’re evil; you can have the Tree, no you can’t.
- God isn’t fair, which explains God punishment of the serpent (for telling the truth) and God’s punishment of Adam and Eve for a so-called act of disobedience when they didn’t have the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong.
- God lies (e.g. about dying if you ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge).
- God subscribes to the philosophy of do as I say, not as I do. That is, he violated his own commandment about killing.
So, that’s what the Bible, itself, says about the God of the Old Testament. Given all of that, exactly what kind of god are we really talking about here? Certainly, not one that I would want to emulate or pray to. How about you?
Truth be told… he wasn’t even God (the Prime Creator).
There is more than one god in the Bible. Actually, there are many gods, including Yahweh, the Elohim, the Most High god and the invisible spirit (God) of the New Testament, among others. It can all be pretty confusing to a reader of the Bible so, in my next post, I’ll try to sort it all out.
“Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?”
In his book The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking said that, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing.” The first question that comes to mind is how can something be created out of nothing? However, in addition, this statement raises other questions while providing no real answers. Let’s break it down.
How can you create something out of nothing (and from nowhere)?
In science, it’s impossible to create something out of nothing. Mathematically speaking, 0+0 will always equal zero.
The universe can and will create
So, exactly what kind of life force is this, anyway, that can create? After all, creation implies intelligence.
How is it that a Natural Law allows the universe to create?
Natural laws determine the process. They are predictive (only), but they do not create anything themselves. Besides, as Einstein said, “If there is a law there is a lawgiver.” Interestingly enough, theoretical physicist S. James Gates, Jr. says that his research indicates that the Natural Laws of the Universe contain embedded computer codes. If not a lawgiver, then, there must have been a super-intelligent computer programmer instead.
Theories, fossils and reverse engineering
So, what we really have here is an attempt to provide a quasi-scientific explanation for an ideology. How did we ever get to this point? Well, to begin with, some scientific theories have been reverse engineered, so to speak. That is, scientists first started with a theory and then the framework for scientific enquiry was constructed on top of that, in order to hopefully provide the necessary observations to prove the theory; such was Darwin’s Theory of Evolution for example. Darwin realized that the fossil record did not, at that time, support evolution but he assumed that future examination of the fossil record would eventually produce the necessary observations of transitional fossil forms required to prove his theory. However, it was none other than Stephen Jay Gould, an evolutionist himself, who admitted that those fossils couldn’t be found.
Aside: Of course, Darwin didn’t know anything about DNA (how could he have known?) and, if he had, I seriously doubt that he would have ever promulgated such a theory in the first place.
Where did time, space and matter come from?
Here’s the problem facing scientists on the issue of the origins of life in the universe. According to scientific theory, time, space and matter were all created simultaneously out of nothing (and from nowhere). The universe (poof) just popped into existence. Just poof.
Of course, science now admits that the universe had a beginning (The Big Bang). It was Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, who observed, “If inflation is the dynamite behind the Big Bang, we’re still looking for the match.” It follows, then, that since the Big Bang had a match there must also have been a match lighter (i.e. a cause). In this case, the cause could only have come from beyond space and time.
As for “creation out of nothing,” it’s just a euphemism for the unknown, a way for science to claim that it understands something that can’t really be understood scientifically. As the ancient Greek philosophers noted, the only thing that can be created from nothing is nothing.
In his book The End of Science, John Horgan raised the issue that there is a limit to knowledge as science attempts to push beyond what’s observable, since it is not possible to observe what exists beyond space and time simply by observing Nature. Yet, scientists do it everyday, with no thought about using the scientific method. Robert Lanza explained it thusly, “We have failed to protect science against speculative extensions of nature, continuing to assign physical and mathematical properties to hypothetical entities beyond what is observable in nature.” Stephen Hawking, of all people, should know better.
“Reality is not confined to space and time. The psyche is not under obligation to space and time alone.”
– Carl Jung
I keep seeing spam, or whatever it is, on my internet sports page about the topic “Is Jesus God?” It got me to think that I should ask those presumably in the know – Christians. So, here’s a little multiple choice questionnaire, just for Christians:
Question: Which of the following, if any, are correct?
- Jesus is God
- Jesus is the son of God
- Jesus is Yahweh
- Jesus is the messiah
- Jesus is the archangel Michael
- Jesus is a manifestation of God
According to varying Christian beliefs, it actually might be any one of them. That is, different Christian denominations have different beliefs with respect to Jesus. So, there basically isn’t any one right answer that reflects all Christian thinking. Every Christian denomination seemingly wants the right to define the Word of God their way, and their way only.
Aside: Islam holds that Jesus was a prophet and according to atheists… well, God doesn’t exist so it really doesn’t matter to them, now does it?
To confuse matters further, Judaism believes that Jesus wasn’t the long-awaited messiah prophesied by the Old Testament. The reason is that the Old Testament prophecies are actually prophecies from the Jewish Bible. You see, the Old Testament is, in reality, the Jewish Bible (the Tanakh). Jewish prophets wrote the prophecies and Jewish holy men said that Jesus did not fulfill their prophecies. So, these were not Christian prophecies but rather Jewish prophecies and the only messiah that anyone could have been expecting was a Jewish messiah. Actually, it would be hundreds of years before Christianity even became a religion.
The Jewish messiah was actually supposed to be both a messiah and a king, like King David who was considered to have been a messiah in his own right. In order to fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Tanakh (according to the Book of Isaiah), the following would have to occur:
- All the Jews in the world would have to return to the Holy Land.
- All the people in the world would have to worship the Jewish god.
- The messiah would have to restore the Kingdom of Israel (then ruled by foreign powers).
- The messiah would have to be named Immanuel.
With respect to the disciples, they were Jewish and they lived their lives strictly in accordance with the Torah. Therefore, they could only have been expecting a Jewish messiah. That’s why the disciples asked Jesus (see Acts 1:6), “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” They understood that this was potentially the fulfillment of one of the Jewish prophecies relating to the long-awaited Jewish messiah.
Of course, it never happened. Jesus did not restore the kingdom of Israel or fulfill any of the other prophecies for that matter. Even today, arguably three out of the four prophecies remain unfulfilled.
World-famous theologian Albert Schweitzer, in his seminal work The Quest for the Historical Jesus, pointed out that Jesus was supposed to return during the lifetime of the disciples (see Mark 13 and Matthew 24). For that reason, noted Christian apologist C.S.Lewis stated that Matthew 24:34 is the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.
The thing is…Jesus certainly would have returned as he promised the disciples…if he could have. Even in the Bible, they asked why Jesus did not return as promised.
“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’”
– 2 Peter 3:4
One thing that distinguishes man from other life forms is his ability to ponder his own existence. More fascinating perhaps even than that is man’s innate ability to evolve. A little thing called DNA is the reason.
DNA is a miracle of life. Yes, a miracle. Of course, evolutionists will say that it is the by-product of some random cosmic accident and deists will say that it is proof of God. So, who is right? In any event, one thing that I’m pretty sure of is that with respect to our view of creation… DNA is a real game changer. Let’s check it out.
What makes DNA so unique is that without it life as we know it would not exist. It’s capabilities are otherworldly, beyond anything that science fiction could have ever imagined. One way to think of DNA is that it is a digital communication and storage system which incorporates language. However, even that grossly over-simplifies its capabilities.
Think of it – sitting in the nucleus of every cell is an extremely sophisticated and high-powered software program which contains a unique set of instructions for how the human genome works. It provides for billions of those instructions per second in the process of directing the body’s 100 trillion cells. The topper is that DNA is self-organizing, self-directing and self-replicating. Yes, all by itself. Only something that is very intelligent can do that.
How intelligent? Well, consider that DNA’s information systems is more complex than anything ever devised by man, using algorithms far beyond anything in a supercomputer. Even Bill Gates can attest to that. In addition, the language of DNA, which is in the form of a four-character code, is composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. Yes, a language with three billion letters. That’s what makes it possible for DNA to determine all life on earth. Now, that’s real intelligence for you.
Science has recently discovered that the human genome contains genes that do not have the required predecessors on the genomic evolutionary tree. That is, DNA can be changed through what geneticists call horizontal gene transfer; no natural selection is required. Of course, I can already hear the deists congratulating themselves and the atheists asserting that this doesn’t prove that God exists. However, I wonder… what if they are both wrong?
In the late twentieth century, Antony Flew was one of the world’s most renowned atheists. He was originally a proponent of the theory of evolution, but he eventually changed his views stating that, “Super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” Now, that’s what I call an intelligent view of creation.
I was visiting Israel recently and while driving around I was thrown off by their street and highway signs. The street signs, you see, are in Hebrew, English…and Arabic! I wondered, why Arabic? Well, it turns out that Arabic is an official national language of Israel (along with Hebrew naturally) and that’s why the street signs are also in Arabic.
Show of hands. How many people already knew that Arabic was an official national language of Israel. No one, of course.
That got me to thinking. What else didn’t I know about Arabs in Israel. Turns out that I didn’t know very much. Here’s a short list:
- The Arab population in Israel is approximately 1.7 million, which is more than 20% of the country’s total population. One in five Israelis are Arab!
- Arab citizens are granted the same rights as Jewish citizens under law. They are, in fact, Israeli citizens.
- Arabs are allowed to serve in the Israeli military (although service is not mandatory).
- Arabs have political representation in the Israeli Knesset and currently hold 17 of its 120 seats. There currently is even an Arab serving as a justice on the Israeli Supreme Court.
During my stay in Israel, I also noticed a number of other somewhat unusual things, at least from my perspective:
- While shopping, I noticed that some of the shop owners were actually Arabs.
- I saw an Arab woman jogging on the beach boardwalk (in jogging gear and headphones no less).
- In the malls, I repeatedly ran into Arab women shopping without their husbands, sometimes attired in blue jeans (of all things).
- Arabs from other countries come to Israel for medical care – even the King of Jordan, so I am told.
All of which made me question what an Israeli really is. There are over 1 million Russians that came to Israel in the 1990s. The current immigrant wave is from France and when you walk the streets in some cities you see large numbers of Anglo-Saxon looking people. It’s very multi-cultural…
and, then, there’s the Israeli Arabs.
Turns out that Israeli Arabs enjoy more civil rights than Arabs living in any other Middle Eastern country. In fact, a study by the Harvard Kennedy School found that 77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country.
So, street signs, blue jeans and headphones. It sort of tells you something about the new reality of Israeli Arabs.
My most recent post, A Man From The Lord, seemingly raised as many questions as it answered. That’s actually as it should be, or as Bernard Werber succinctly put it, “The point is not to believe or not believe. What matters is to ask as many questions as possible.” So, at the risk of having you ask more questions, here’s a little clarification on that post.
If we’re going to be intellectually honest about quoting from the Bible, we have to closely examine what the Bible is truly saying. We also have to look at what the Bible omits, but which can be found in other ancient texts. For that matter, we have to see if the Bible is actually based on older sources. With that in mind, who was “The Man From The Lord?”
New discoveries in science are actually throwing new light on certain Bible stories. The genealogy of the so-called First Man is a case in point. That’s why I cited the DNA study from the Harvard Medical School. What science and the Bible apparently agree upon, is that an extraterrestrial species mated with ancient man. What you believe with respect to that extraterrestrial species is entirely up to you, be that it’s God, angels or perhaps some other form of extraterrestrial.
The interesting thing about this story is that it is mostly ignored, probably intentionally so, in the Bible whereas other ancient texts have a lot more to say about it. For example, in ancient times the Book of Enoch was a highly revered text. It’s even referred to in the Bible itself. The Book of Enoch, which was the basis for the Movie Noah, has the most detailed description of the mating between the sons of God and the daughters of man of any text that I know of.
So, you have to ask yourself why this ancient text was left out of the Bible. Well, it’s plainly obvious, at least to me, that this text muddies the water with respect to the traditional definition of God and even the very reason for the Flood. By saying this, I’m not opining one way or another on the validity of the story itself but rather I’m making a comment that Church dogma does not consider the implications of God and/or the sons of God mating with humans. They indirectly dismiss the event by saying that Noah, and his family, were the only survivors of the Flood. How convenient.
If you want the true story (on anything), you have to go to the source. The Talmud states that some Genesis passages were taken from tradition (in other words older belief systems) or older writings. If you have been following my posts, you may even recall the names of a couple of texts (older writings) that I previously mentioned. The point is that the Genesis story isn’t even an original story and if you can’t believe Genesis then what part of the Bible can you believe?
So, what have we really learned? Well, for one thing, it might be instructive to consider that every truth seemingly has a greater truth. In part, maybe that’s because the “truth” is simply just a personal perspective of a believer.
In any event, getting answers to your questions is not a requirement of an intellectual discourse. It’s only necessary that you keep an open mind and consider the possibilities. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, anyway. I’m just a mirror that could possibly cause you to look at yourself and examine who you really are and what you believe in.
“Every conscious thought you have, every moment you spend on an idea, is a commitment to be stuck with that idea and with aspects of that level of thinking, for the rest of your life.”
– Kevin Michel, Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams